Author Topic: (Dev Really Wants Info) One Item You Most Want Changed This Week In AVWW, #1  (Read 8422 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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eRe4s3r -- hardcore modding of spells is definitely not the sort of thing for this thread, and isn't really something I have a lot of personal interest to begin with.  But... we'll see, at some point. 

Anytime I add a new spell or change anything in particles.xml you lose any mods you've applied, anyway.  My main reason for making it external was to make it faster for me to change things with it, and to allow players to mock up things that they want us to include and have it so that we (and you) could see it in action.  Not as actual true mod support, which isn't something I see ever focusing on in the game (fragmentary playerbases, yikes).

This isn't as much about hardcore modding as it is about enhancing the spell FX system so that mockups can be recreated by you (if you feel like that...) or suggested by actual graphic mods so that you can implement them ;) As it is, any mockup or suggestion of an spell effect would hit the boundaries I described if you tried to implement them or ee to suggest them. Particularly that we can explicitly define the sprites and sequences in spell patterns is vital. Because a good spell needs a good sprite, but spells share sprites... and what looks good for fireball looks terrible for dash/jump spell... and so on. This is the primary reason I am not suggestion much, I can't change things without changing other things and there is no preventing that unless the system becomes less hardcoded to certain art assets. Particularly their frame-rate, loop-state and obviously filenames ;p

This is the hen/egg problem, if you don't implement the abilities for fancy effects, no fancy effects will be mocked up for you to implement (because they'd not be implementable by the suggester, and thus not tweak-able, and thus never reach a state of suggestion).

All these points come directly from me trying to implement my mocked up "particle-trail-bullet spell" which needs 3 new sprites and 5 effect stages + a unique spell specific pattern. Any suggested spell FX anyone would do for you to implement would hit the same issues.

Anyway.. I am trailing off because I just got a call that my gas contract was suspended.. and not only was I not informed of this, but the Company doesn't know why it was suspended, they said someone requested to suspend the contract, it was not something they wanted and I didn't do it. The company was as shocked to hear this as I was. But now I got free gas for 2 months already and the company is stunned as to what happened.

Anecdotes ftw ;p


We'll see what happens with the fx system for spells ;P And my gas contract, hah
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Offline x4000

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2) There is no "spell LEVEL check" variable in this system, which means stronger spells can not change appearance depending on the level they have when they call the effect pattern.

Optimally, the effect pattern can be defined for specific spells, and then for specific spell power levels. The system then reads the one that matches.

If spell level is 3 and spell patterns defined are 2, 4, 6 the system loads spell pattern 2,
If spell level is 4 and spell patterns defined are 2, 4, 6 the system loads spell pattern 4,
If spell level is 9 and spell patterns defined are 2, 4, 6 the system loads spell pattern 6,

Edit: Actually that is daft, better would be if we could define spell level ranges (1-3, 4-6, 6-8) so that the results are always "expectable"

This of course, can be defined in the particle.xml so we can change it ;P

Is there still no cap to spell tires? If so, then this wouldn't be very useful, as there would be an infinite number of spell tiers.
Even if you are allowed to put an "open range" at the end (like, "16-" meaning 16 and up), this would basically mean that all tiers past level 16 would look the same, which would happen eventually. (Though, still may be useful if your spell-tiers reset when on a new continent. Do they?)

If there is now a cap on spell tiers, then this opens up all kinds of per-tier level variance options (different names, different graphics, tier 5 taking like 3x times the stuff to craft compared to normal tier cost progression, but 5x as strong, and possibly only do this for certain spells). Of course, this sort of variety will almost certainly have to wait until post-1.0, but it would allow the devs to address concerns that upping your spells doesn't "feel" more powerful, even though it is. Also, it would allow for all kinds of fun new ideas now that things no longer have to scale infinitely, but instead, you can give a "special touch" if desired to a tier of a spell because there is a now a finite number of them.

Yes, there is now a spell tier cap of 5.  However, I have no intentions of ever allowing them to vary by tier.  Then people start expecting us to do that with all spells, rather than just what folks have modded, and individual spells start taking 5x as long to do and cost way more in terms of GPU load and so on.  I'd rather focus on spell variety rather than individual graphics for what are just the upgraded versions of spells you already have.

There are already some new spells that come about by branching off the main tree of a spell path, however, and those have different graphics.  By learning launch rock 3, you can then go to launch rock 4 (which looks the same) or to launch meteor 1 (which looks really different).  Or you can do both.  There's a branch after ride the lightning 3 that also lets you get to lightning rocket.  Etc.

But the general thrust of the matter is that the game doesn't support true mods, and I've explained in depth somewhere else (I think related to AI War) why I don't tend to support that.  But that's really a whole other topic.
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Offline x4000

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eRe4s3r -- hardcore modding of spells is definitely not the sort of thing for this thread, and isn't really something I have a lot of personal interest to begin with.  But... we'll see, at some point. 

Anytime I add a new spell or change anything in particles.xml you lose any mods you've applied, anyway.  My main reason for making it external was to make it faster for me to change things with it, and to allow players to mock up things that they want us to include and have it so that we (and you) could see it in action.  Not as actual true mod support, which isn't something I see ever focusing on in the game (fragmentary playerbases, yikes).

This isn't as much about hardcore modding as it is about enhancing the spell FX system so that mockups can be recreated by you (if you feel like that...) or suggested by actual graphic mods so that you can implement them ;) As it is, any mockup or suggestion of an spell effect would hit the boundaries I described if you tried to implement them or ee to suggest them. Particularly that we can explicitly define the sprites and sequences in spell patterns is vital. Because a good spell needs a good sprite, but spells share sprites... and what looks good for fireball looks terrible for dash/jump spell... and so on. This is the primary reason I am not suggestion much, I can't change things without changing other things and there is no preventing that unless the system becomes less hardcoded to certain art assets. Particularly their frame-rate, loop-state and obviously filenames ;p

This is the hen/egg problem, if you don't implement the abilities for fancy effects, no fancy effects will be mocked up for you to implement (because they'd not be implementable by the suggester, and thus not tweak-able, and thus never reach a state of suggestion).

All these points come directly from me trying to implement my mocked up "particle-trail-bullet spell" which needs 3 new sprites and 5 effect stages + a unique spell specific pattern. Any suggested spell FX anyone would do for you to implement would hit the same issues.

Anyway.. I am trailing off because I just got a call that my gas contract was suspended.. and not only was I not informed of this, but the Company doesn't know why it was suspended, they said someone requested to suspend the contract, it was not something they wanted and I didn't do it. The company was as shocked to hear this as I was. But now I got free gas for 2 months already and the company is stunned as to what happened.

Anecdotes ftw ;p


We'll see what happens with the fx system for spells ;P And my gas contract, hah

Yikes, sorry to hear about your gas contract problems -- at least you got something free out of it!

In terms of the whole mockups thing, if you're replacing one spell's graphics temporarily so that you can do a mockup, and it breaks other spells, that shouldn't really matter for mockup purposes.  But in terms of flexibility in loading spell graphics and so on, that's something that would require rewriting our NonSimEffect system to be xml-based, and so far I can't think of a way to do that which wouldn't have at least moderate runtime costs associated with it.  But certainly the ability to load arbitrary images in defined sprite dictionaries would be something helpful to mockups, no question.
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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This might be a bit of a big request and I'm not sure if it would be doable with the time left until release.

I think there should be more to separate Lieutenants from ordinary bosses.

This is rather anecdotal and usually a few updates come out between the chances I get to fight Lieutenants so this might be out of date, but from what I've seen there are already some boss types that usually only show up as Lieutenants or Overlords or are at least not as likely to show up elsewhere. However, there still seems to be quite a bit of overlap between Lieutenants and ordinary bosses.

When I encountered a Lieutenant and it turned out to be one of those "big flying machine things that shoots electricity and rockets" it felt the way it should. However, it felt very underwhelming when the Lieutenant was a Giant Skelebot or Green Amoeba because by then I would have seen so many of those.

I recently saw the "big flying machine thing that shoots electricity and rockets" (I forget what they're called) in "Boss Gang" missions and that doesn't exactly feel right to me. I think those should be saved for Lieutenant bosses if possible.

I think there might be a need to keep Lieutenant/Overlord and ordinary boss types more separate so those boss types aren't already "spent" by the time the players reach them, which might require making more boss types and I'm not sure there's much room for that between now and release.




Now for something that might be more doable.

I keep feeling like it's difficult to get NPCs with certain professions and the necessary buildings to use them early enough. A lot of times, by the time I get the stuff needed to place windmills and bouys, I'm already at continent Tier 4 or 5 and taking on Lieutenants, which limits their usefulness.

Part of this seems to be that missions that give you spell materials and missions that give you NPCs or buildings are usually separate. For some reason (and I have some guesses as to why, see below*) I almost never get secret missions to get spell materials, so spell materials take priority for the main missions that affect continent tier.

Secret missions do help with this somewhat, but they're rather sparse and much of the time they feel really random. It's really tricky to actually find what something you need this way because they seem so random compared to most other things in the game.

Maybe they aren't quite completely random, but right now they appear to be that way and that feels like it goes against how trying to acquire things in this game usually works. There is a lot of random in the game, but with most other things in the game you usually have an idea where it is most likely to occur and so you go there to maximize your chances of finding it. I haven't seen much of anything like that for secret missions so actually trying to go after them feels a bit odd. If there is a pattern then they are sparse enough that I haven't picked up on it yet (I suspect that I'm more likely to find "rescue NPC" missions in caves, but I don't know if that's actually the case or if I'm being superstitious  :P ).

I think it would help if I had a better idea of where to look for secret missions that will get me what I want, like how some of the other stuff in the game works. Maybe certain regions or areas should have a higher chance of offering certain things.
Again, it may be that it already works that way and I haven't picked up on the pattern yet, but either way I'm haven't seen any tendencies that I can use to better my results with these missions.

*I have a suspect that there are certain structures, NPCs, or materials that are more likely to appear in secret missions if I don't have them yet. I tend to skip secret missions that are not offering anything I want/need at the time and that might be messing things up.

Offline x4000

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Professor Paul1290 -- Good point on making it clearer on where to find NPCs.  And I'll look at the seeding frequency in buildings, too, for that matter.  It's vastly easier to find them in caves, at the moment.

Regarding lieutenants, that's incredibly way out of scope, yeah.  But at any rate, the entire point of lieutenants is that they will always be just stat-buffed versions of minibosses, not unique monster types of their own.  Why?  Because having to double up the number of boss types will mean either one of two things: a) a ton of work is put into unique lieutenants that are not seen by the majority of the players the majority of the time, while the number of minibosses remains much lower than it otherwise could have been; or b) the lieutenants get extremely repetitive.

We are going to be having various kinds of boss buffs that make each boss a lot more unique than they currently are, and which makes the entire boss room into more of a combined boss rather than just the one enemy being the boss directly.  But that's something I'm going to start tackling next week or the week after.  I think it will address a lot of your concerns, though, because the lieutenants will get way more of those kinds of buffs and so they will be a lot more unique-feeling simply for that reason alone, if nothing else.
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Offline Wanderer

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A few little things I'd love to see:
Mouse Wheel doing something useful.  It could simply rotate my inventory list for me so I can easily access my 8 spells on 1/2.

Some kind of cleanup of the Enchant Inventory and a warning that when you're full you're not going to be able to pickup anymore.
* On the same note, something warning me to stop looking for a basic Acid Gills enchant I just picked up when I already had one.

A MOTD for mp servers, settable by whomever has claimed admin rights.

MP Chat for players being easier to see and not 'lost in spam'.

A description somewhere of the who/what/where/when/why of getting new people into your settlement, how that affects you, and why you should even care.  Right now it's one of those 'explore as you go' things and its REALLY annoying, unlike other things that you explore and go OH NEAT!  I should look forward to finding a new NPC, not look at him and go "Why the heck do I care about you?!"

Off to work, but those are my initial items that have been irking me.
... and then we'll have cake.

Offline eRe4s3r

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eRe4s3r -- hardcore modding of spells is definitely not the sort of thing for this thread, and isn't really something I have a lot of personal interest to begin with.  But... we'll see, at some point. 

Anytime I add a new spell or change anything in particles.xml you lose any mods you've applied, anyway.  My main reason for making it external was to make it faster for me to change things with it, and to allow players to mock up things that they want us to include and have it so that we (and you) could see it in action.  Not as actual true mod support, which isn't something I see ever focusing on in the game (fragmentary playerbases, yikes).

This isn't as much about hardcore modding as it is about enhancing the spell FX system so that mockups can be recreated by you (if you feel like that...) or suggested by actual graphic mods so that you can implement them ;) As it is, any mockup or suggestion of an spell effect would hit the boundaries I described if you tried to implement them or ee to suggest them. Particularly that we can explicitly define the sprites and sequences in spell patterns is vital. Because a good spell needs a good sprite, but spells share sprites... and what looks good for fireball looks terrible for dash/jump spell... and so on. This is the primary reason I am not suggestion much, I can't change things without changing other things and there is no preventing that unless the system becomes less hardcoded to certain art assets. Particularly their frame-rate, loop-state and obviously filenames ;p

This is the hen/egg problem, if you don't implement the abilities for fancy effects, no fancy effects will be mocked up for you to implement (because they'd not be implementable by the suggester, and thus not tweak-able, and thus never reach a state of suggestion).

All these points come directly from me trying to implement my mocked up "particle-trail-bullet spell" which needs 3 new sprites and 5 effect stages + a unique spell specific pattern. Any suggested spell FX anyone would do for you to implement would hit the same issues.

Anyway.. I am trailing off because I just got a call that my gas contract was suspended.. and not only was I not informed of this, but the Company doesn't know why it was suspended, they said someone requested to suspend the contract, it was not something they wanted and I didn't do it. The company was as shocked to hear this as I was. But now I got free gas for 2 months already and the company is stunned as to what happened.

Anecdotes ftw ;p


We'll see what happens with the fx system for spells ;P And my gas contract, hah

Yikes, sorry to hear about your gas contract problems -- at least you got something free out of it!

In terms of the whole mockups thing, if you're replacing one spell's graphics temporarily so that you can do a mockup, and it breaks other spells, that shouldn't really matter for mockup purposes.  But in terms of flexibility in loading spell graphics and so on, that's something that would require rewriting our NonSimEffect system to be xml-based, and so far I can't think of a way to do that which wouldn't have at least moderate runtime costs associated with it.  But certainly the ability to load arbitrary images in defined sprite dictionaries would be something helpful to mockups, no question.

Well the ability to add more stages (and our own stages) to a spell effect pattern + a level ramp up is imo required ;p

You might say it will do more work. And that it will. But off-hand the work it would take to make 4 extra level stages for each spell is negligible, it'd just be fade, emission and scale tuning after all. To begin with, the only thing really needed would be some toning down of default spells as well as a sprite selection feature.

Imo this is part of graphic polish ;P And while more work (at first), players will thank you for it later.

Ps.: With free I meant I have not paid for it (How could I, they refuse to take my money! but continue to give me gas!) This is so absurd I can't even find something even remotely like this on the Internet. Apparently I am the only one who got his gas contract CANCELED (not suspended, literally canceled!) right in the middle of contract, I paid on time each time, used gas each month and had a 2 year contract... its a mystery. The company person on the phone agreed that this is the most absurd thing she ever heard off... I am half suspecting someone canceled the gas contract using my name with malicious intent.But to do that they'd have to know my contract number, and NOBODY KNOWS THIS NUMBER besides me and the company. (And my landlord.. but why and how would they cancel my gas contracts?)

I am gonna make a post about this when its over. It's gonna be epic .... I can tell that already....
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 01:34:16 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline Martyn van Buren

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We are going to be having various kinds of boss buffs that make each boss a lot more unique than they currently are, and which makes the entire boss room into more of a combined boss rather than just the one enemy being the boss directly.  But that's something I'm going to start tackling next week or the week after.  I think it will address a lot of your concerns, though, because the lieutenants will get way more of those kinds of buffs and so they will be a lot more unique-feeling simply for that reason alone, if nothing else.

Is that the modular thing you talked about on Mantis? I'm pretty pumped for that!

Offline x4000

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We are going to be having various kinds of boss buffs that make each boss a lot more unique than they currently are, and which makes the entire boss room into more of a combined boss rather than just the one enemy being the boss directly.  But that's something I'm going to start tackling next week or the week after.  I think it will address a lot of your concerns, though, because the lieutenants will get way more of those kinds of buffs and so they will be a lot more unique-feeling simply for that reason alone, if nothing else.

Is that the modular thing you talked about on Mantis? I'm pretty pumped for that!

Yep, exactly.  Basically, it would be a couple of different things that I've thought of so far (and plus whatever others come up with) after 1.0:
1. These little floating orbs or companions or whatever (it would vary) that either directly buff the boss, or which give it extra attacks, or whatever (again, it would vary).
2. Other monsters, often immobile ones, that are part of the room but count as "part of the boss" in terms of your having to kill them all (this again would vary, but would be things like towers, slimes on the walls, etc).
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Offline Ixiohm

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Gravestones... right now they are just irritating  >:(
There are at least two mantis issues addressing my concerns:
1. Remove them from the minimap.
2. Add at least some possible randomized texts to them and decrease their seeding frequency, I think there shouldn’t be more than two gravestones on average in a stash room. If this isn't in scope for release then remove them, as there is not much point in them all being 'anonymous grave'  ::)

Offline tigersfan

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Gravestones... right now they are just irritating  >:(
There are at least two mantis issues addressing my concerns:
1. Remove them from the minimap.
2. Add at least some possible randomized texts to them and decrease their seeding frequency, I think there shouldn’t be more than two gravestones on average in a stash room. If this isn't in scope for release then remove them, as there is not much point in them all being 'anonymous grave'  ::)
Actually, I'm kind of in favor of this as well... FWIW Chris.

Offline Martyn van Buren

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2. Other monsters, often immobile ones, that are part of the room but count as "part of the boss" in terms of your having to kill them all (this again would vary, but would be things like towers, slimes on the walls, etc).

Sweet!  This is already shaping up to be a seriously enormous game.

Offline Dizzard

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This isn't a major issue really, but since I can't bring up anything major to my mind...

When you are renaming a settlement, pressing p pauses the game. I don't think that should happen, it's annoying.

Offline keith.lamothe

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This isn't a major issue really, but since I can't bring up anything major to my mind...
The thought in the back of my head throughout this thread has mostly been "seriously, that's the worst thing you can think of?".

I just hope the reviewers and potential customers come to a similar conclusion as you ;)
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Offline Bluddy

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I'll list a couple of items, though I really have to strain to think of anything.

- Make battleground missions tougher. I seem to be taking a lot of damage, but I can just go back to heal and my minions will do fine. They'll even advance without me. Maybe so long as I'm healing at the base, no new minions should be produced.
- Make the windmills spawn both in the mission map and in one of the tile surface maps (perhaps always the first one). Do we really need to see them? I think so. I really want to see my windmill up close. Just put it in the background somewhere like my settlement buildings. Seeing it in front of pyramids would be super cool.

UPDATE: Here's another one I just encountered: The game should really ask you to create a user name the first time you play. I just changed my user name for multiplayer, and when I got back to my local game, the game didn't recognize me.
- Make keyboard controls work in more (if not all) menus. I love that they work in the main menu, but then they just stop working in the other ones.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 08:52:20 PM by Bluddy »